An Interesting Evening…

Fast forward to 2 days before what would have been our wedding anniversary and the kids’ college tuition is due, a deadline that night which sets us all on edge because a) we’re talking about money and b) because kid is doing this at last minute, and the numbers that are due aren’t adding up properly.

A text exchange, first one since 2019 begins with the ex and me. I send him info as I try to unravel Financial Aid, loans, amounts that aren’t credited properly, hoping to get the numbers right, get the tuition paid and get on with my night. At first, it’s a battle to mathematically unravel this mess. We are each typing the numbers and mathematical equations of 60/40 with the word ‘agreed?’ to punctuate one’s own correctness and to agree to this and let’s be done. On both of our parts. I admit. I was doing the same thing. The competition is palpable. A never-ending result in the demise of our over 20 year marriage.

He’s got a way of getting under my skin because when he’s in the mood, which is often, he’s ready to pounce on anything that’s remotely not detailed, exacting and correct in his favor. He questions everything I say, do, am. And I feel it. Right to my bare bones and I’m triggered immediately as he’s pushing my buttons. I feel myself beginning to spin like in the old days. He’s gaslighting me.

I take a deep breath and stop. I cease texting, but he’s continuing to push. “Agreed?” “Do you not think my numbers are right?” More menacing texts come as I remain silent trying to center myself. The numbers are not adding up on my end either. At least we’re in agreement for that. So I make the bold decision and pick up the phone. (yes, I called him). We hadn’t talked since I dragged his deadbeat self through the court system a few years ago after he owed me thousands of dollars and was refusing to pay his share of the kids’ expenses according to the divorce agreement.

He answers and a wave of hyper-vigilance ensues in my head along with the surprise of how strange he sounds. I take the lead and ask him for his help in figuring out these numbers which are really frustratingly difficult and considering it’s already 10:30pm, I’m too tired to deal with the whole thing by myself. So I invite the narcissist to help with the mathematical gymnastics because that gives him something to do besides berating me. And it works. Together, let me repeat that…TOGETHER…we figure it out – at least I think we did!

Of course by the time we do this, he’s also told me that he has to pay with a credit card as he doesn’t have any money (his constant excuse but with his high paying salary, I don’t know what he spends all his money on) and the website is only allowing one payer for the entirety as I can’t figure out how to add him in order for him to pay his portion. While there’s a rebate on the financial aid part, it’s easier if it’s me who pays the whole amount as I can get the refund faster because the kid is living with me. He says that he’ll pay me back if we don’t get the refund. Sorry. But I don’t trust him. I’m playing all nicey nice, but I don’t trust him at all. So in a joking manner I make him repeat that he’ll pay me what he owes if I pay the whole thing now while on speaker in front of our son. He doesn’t find me funny, but I do. Probably because he’s bilked me out of THOUSANDS and I’m calling him out quietly. Luckily I have every confidence that the rebate will come through which is the only reason I agree to paying it up front. Well, that and the kid is having a panic attack now because this is all last minute and he’s a mess (but that’s a post for another day).

After the payment part is complete, we end up on the phone talking for another hour. That’s a post for another day, but it’s interesting to say the least. We’ve come a long way.

I’VE COME A LONG WAY…so can you if you’re the ex-wife of a narcissist. There’s hope for us to see it clearly and still be able to manage when we have to deal with them…it does get easier…you just have to know how to navigate it.

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22 Responses to An Interesting Evening…

  1. LA says:

    I want to say both, sorry you had to deal with this and good for you

    Liked by 1 person

  2. E.A. Wickham says:

    That is making progress! Congratulations πŸ™‚


  3. scr4pl80 says:

    Good for you for standing firm. How are you feeling?


    • janieleeds says:

      I’m feeling ok with him. With my health, well, that’s an up and down right now. I can’t seem to stay on an even keel with my heart rate. But thanks for asking. Hope all is well with you Janet! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. petespringerauthor says:

    I hope you are feeling better. Your last posts have expressed much regret about having had your surgery.

    Liked by 1 person

    • janieleeds says:

      Thanks Pete. I do have regret even though I understand I needed the surgery. It’s not been the recovery and healing path I thought it would be…hopefully this will change sooner rather than later…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. ... says:

    Definitely hard to deal with. In New Zealand I had to pay child support for my children, but I would pay it to the IRD (Inland Revenue Department) and somehow my ex ended up with some money – which she used for traveling around the country, going to concerts etc. We do get on ok now but it took a while. Don’t give up.


  6. Wow, I’m definitely not ready to pick up the phone most days but that awesome that it worked out. You were giving him “supply” by telling him you “needed” him to help you figure that out. (And I’m not saying that critically, this is a legit “how to get along with a narc” skill! Good job! Hopefully that boost for him will carry over into you actually receiving his portion to pay!

    Liked by 1 person

    • janieleeds says:

      Big smile here because that’s exactly what I was thinking and doing…I was ready because I wasn’t afraid anymore of the what ifs. It took me ages to get to this point with him. I knew what I was doing and doing what needed to be done. Now let’s see what happens with the repayment. It sounds like you’re familiar with narcs…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lol, let’s just say I got a crash course but it’s been 20 years in the making. And once I realize I need to learn about something, I’m all in. But if I never watch another YouTube video on how to identify, deal with, and escape a narc, I’ll not be disappointed, lol. I was drinking from the firehose there for a bit. But it has paid huge dividends in my emotional freedom. I love that you did that all on purpose. Im smiling too!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Letitgocoach says:

    I’m happy you called him. That’s what I would have done too. My ex pays for my daughter’s college because it was in the divorce papers and he gave her the credit card information specifically for that purpose. I don’t know if yours would be willing to do that but just wanted to share that tidbit with you. I venture to say, ‘YOU’VE’ come a long way baby! Just you. He is still an asshole in my opinion. πŸ˜‚


  8. hbsuefred says:

    It’s been two years since my idiot ex filed the papers though not even a year since we finally settled the details between us. Of course, I’m still angry about how it all went down and, after he kept sending me “caring” texts in the interim I finally cut him off.

    As you may or may not know, I have followed and learned from your continuing experiences in this regard. So, after reading this, and since I have given some thought to it lately, I am more hopeful that we can again civilly communicate with each other at some time in the future.

    My idiot ex is an alcoholic so I guess that means he’s not necessarily a narcissist but believe me I think that’s also a related issue that made our life together so difficult. Maybe, though, it’s just me because my self-esteem certainly decreased dramatically throughout our marriage. It will certainly require a rebound on that before any communication with him can be comfortable for me.


    • janieleeds says:

      I wish you peace and divine timing. There have been plenty of times I could have reached out to the ex and chose not to because of all that happened between us. However, I was in a place of peace when I picked up the phone to dial his number. Perhaps not peace, but feeling grounded which helped immensely. One day you will find that communication with him when the time is right. I am happy to be able to help you in any way I can…Sending hugs to you!

      Liked by 1 person

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